The Portland Trail Blazers became big winners when the NBA decided to include more than the best eight teams from each conference to take part in the restart of the 2019-20 season.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley recently noted the Blazers would be the favorite to upset the Lakers if they crack the eighth and final playoff spot:

“I'm gonna tell you this, if the Portland Trail Blazers get in the playoffs, they will beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round,” said Barkley last week, barely containing his smile.

There's a reason why Barkley could barely keep a straight face with this hot take — there is no smoke and no fire:

The Blazers are 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies and hold a very slim lead over the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings, having played two more games than the aforementioned.

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Portland will be revitalized now that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are expected back in the lineup, but they're also dealing with a punchy loss now that Trevor Ariza, arguably their best perimeter defender, has opted out of the restart.

Save for some unprecedented injuries or the novel coronavirus infecting one of the main Lakers stars, the Blazers don't stand much of a chance to get past the top seed in the West … but they still would give them hell.

The Blazers are 1-2 against the Lakers in the regular season. They lost their first game by a whopping 23 points back in December, allowing the Lakers to rack up 138 points through four quarters. Their lone victory took 48 points from Damian Lillard and 30 points and a near-perfect night from Hassan Whiteside, who buried 13 of his 14 field goals.

Even with the help of more able bodies, the restart of the NBA season will be won on talent more so than fitness, especially when it comes to the first round of the playoffs as players still get their bearings after a long hiatus.

Lillard has been known to have explosive performances in the playoffs, and the Lakers not having Avery Bradley (and #PlayoffRondo, to a lesser extent) would have an impact against this star-studded Blazers backcourt. The Lakers could even take one or two losses in the first round — likely more than what the Grizzlies, Pelicans, or Kings could hope to muster.

But going as far as predicting a first-round, top-seed upset in this one-of-a-kind postseason? That's an ambitious take better left to those willing to get flamed for it.